The Valiant Saga of Team YouTube

Rebecca Raney
4 min readJun 23, 2021

Everything you need to know about society, you can learn from following Team YouTube

Twitter banner and bio for Team YouTube

Team YouTube, if you don’t know, is the help desk for creators and customers of the megalithic video service.

The team prowls the back streets of Twitter and responds to complaints — and occasionally scares the hell out of people.

In short, they’re here to help.

Sometimes they appear in the manner of minor gods responding to people’s prayers. Other times, they pop up, unbidden, like a roving squad of guardian angels.

They respond to angry, impassioned pleas in soothing tones — and they do it in eight languages. Whenever I see Tweets from that calming crew, I hear the words spoken in the type of muted tones you hear on NPR.

If you wanted guidelines on how to de-escalate conflict on social media, Team YouTube has written the book.

It’s fitting. YouTube’s mission statement is to “to give everyone a voice and show them the world.

“We believe that everyone deserves to have a voice,” the mission statement says, “and that the world is a better place when we listen, share and build community through our stories.”

Like any responsible YouTuber, when I kicked off my channel, I immediately followed the team on Twitter. It has a following of 1.1 million accounts.

Soon after I started tracking the saga, one thing became clear:

Everything you need to know about society, you can learn from following Team YouTube.

I curated the best of the feed for several weeks.

Here’s a glimpse of the endless days and nights of Team YouTube:

COMPLAINT:

From a complainant who is concerned about a woman holding a livestream in her underwear. Kids are in the chat.

“When you try & say you’re wearing a DRESS, but you’re actually wearing SPANX SHAPEWEAR….

“They can see ur boobs-that’s all u need!”

RESPONSE from Team YouTube:

COMPLAINT from an account called “Peaches”:

“So I’m looking up ‘At home wax tips’ on YouTube and why is there a raw coochie on video. Like how has that not been taken down???”

COMPLAINT:

“bring back my YouTube account, I didnt post any sexual content wtf”

Over the course of days, the complainant explains that he was merely uploading his anime.

RESPONSE from Team YouTube:

“Following up — we’ve decided to keep your account suspended due to severe violations of our guidelines on Nudity & Sexual content. You can refer to this article for more info: https://yt.be/help/DkrF. Reach back out if needed!”

RESPONSE from Team YouTube:

“Thanks for sending our way — if a minor is on a live stream, their parents should visibly accompany them. Otherwise, the feature will be disabled b/c it’ll not meet our child safety policies. Learn more about it here: https://yt.be/help/N9Lq. Tweet back @ us if needed.”

COMPLAINT, from “Pichunium Z”:

“I think my account got hacked”

RESPONSE from Team YouTube:

“Thanks for bringing this to our attention — we’ve sent you a DM with the next steps, so make sure to look out for that.”

RESPONSE from Team YouTube:

“Thanks for the tag — at this point, we can’t speculate when or if any of the removed Sinclair stations will come back. If anything does change, we’ll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, you can submit your channel requests here: https://yt.be/help/Z88p

RESPONSE from Team YouTube:

“Thanks for sending this our way — on the YouTube homepage, look for a video that the creator you wish to block has uploaded > tap the 3 dot icon > select “Don’t recommend this channel.”

COMPLAINT from a creator named Dex, who has 1.5 million subscribers:

“I just sent an appeal for a video that was removed and appeal instantly got rejected after few seconds. No one could’ve read my appeal in matter of seconds and decide. This is insane, please take a look at this issue. Thanks!”

RESPONSE from Team YouTube:

A CRY OF DESPAIR from “The Real Wolfy”:

“I just want my YouTube channel back so bad! It’s so depressing to see something I’ve spent so many years and time to build just for it to terminated. Every day I pray for that second chance but I’m slowly starting to think it’s time for me to give up.”

COMMENT, from a Canadian comedian named Matt O’Brien:

RESPONSE from Team YouTube:

“Jumping in — you can improve what’s being recommended to you with these steps: http://yt.be/help/MykB. Also, you have the option to block ads you don’t want to see: http://yt.be/help/XmFu. Hope this helps.”

This week on YouTube from the #RecklessViolinist:

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Rebecca Raney

Respectable journalist. Terrible waitress. Reckless Violinist. YouTuber/Novelist. Contributor at The New York Times. Follow at https://raney.ck.page/posts.